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Social Services    
As a Christian community, The Riverside Church endeavors to provide access to comprehensive social services for those in economic and social crisis. We seek to enable people in need within our community to more fully support and nurture themselves and their families so that they can move out of poverty. We further support action that leads to a healthy and caring society, free of the oppression of poverty in its various forms.

People who utilize our Social Services programs may receive referrals to job training programs, employment agencies, or other services. The Riverside Church also helps clients in need of public assistance, SNAP (Food Stamps), and Medicaid, through information and referrals.

Food Pantry
The supermarket style Food Pantry distributes food Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The pantry is staffed with 10-12 volunteers who interview clients for eligibility, guide them as they shop, and help stock shelves. Referrals are required.

Barber Training Program
Every Monday and Tuesday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for 6 weeks, participants are trained in barbering skills. Free haircuts are avalable to the community. Application for Licensing is completed after graduation.

Clothing Distribution
Every Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., clothing distribution takes place at the Food Pantry. Professional clothing suitable for job interviews is available by appointment only. Walk-ins cannot be served. Clients with specific needs may call to speak with clothing ministry staff or volunteers. Referrals are helpful but not required.

Shower Project
Open every Tuesday and Friday to accommodate the first 25 people from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Shower Project is designed to meet the needs of the sheltered and unsheltered homeless men and women in need of a shower and clean clothing in New York City. Each guest receives a care basket filled with soap, shampoo, conditioner, towels, and other essentials. Twenty minutes is allotted to each guest to enjoy a hot shower while their clothing is laundered. Volunteers and social services staff provide referrals for additional services to shelters, soup kitchens, medical facilities, counseling, advocacy, and employment.

For more information on Riverside’s efforts to provide efficient, effective, and comprehensive delivery of food, clothing, and support services to persons in need, please call Debra Northern, Minister of Parish Care, at: 212.870.6741.

Clergy On Call

A new aspect of Pastoral Care is Clergy on Call. If there is a life event or crisis, which creates a need for pastoral care outside of regular office hours, congregants may reach Clergy on Call by calling 212.870.6911 or emailing Clergy On Call. Clergy on Call will respond as soon as possible.

This number is specifically designated for Riverside members experiencing an emergency such as illness, death, accident, or hospitalization as well as those who urgently require prayer.

Please be aware that financial assistance and other social service related calls will not be responded to by Clergy on Call.

Pastoral emergencies during regular office hours may contact the Parish Care office at 212.870.6703.